Round 11 sees some fantastic games in the Sapphire Coast AFL. With finals fast approaching there are some key matches in the under 11’s and women’s grade with teams looking to break into the top four.

Narooma v Tathra (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 2:30pm
Merimbula v Eden (Berrambool Sports Complex, Merimbula) 2:30pm
Pambula v Bermagui (Pambula Sports Complex) 2:30pm
Pambula v Merimbula (Pambula Sports Complex) 1:10pm
Narooma v Tathra (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 11:50am
Pambula v Bega (Pambula Sports Complex) 11:50am
BM Giants v Bermagui (Kyla Park, Tuross Heads) 1:10pm
Merimbula v Eden (Berrambool Sports Complex, Merimbula) 1:10pm
Narooma v Tathra (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 1:10pm

Round 11 Preview
Narooma v Tathra
The Lions have been the front runner in 2017 and their home form has been sensational so far with their only loss of the season coming way from the Lion den. The Lions were pushed last weekend against the Diggers in the first half and this week shouldn’t be any different. The Sea Eagles will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing display last weekend against Pambula and will be hopeful of getting some key players back in the fold this weekend as they look to challenge the ladder leaders.

Player to Watch: Luke Wiggins, The Narooma youngster has had a tremendous past two games for the club playing a key role off half back setting up forward plays. Prediction: Narooma by 14 Points.

Pambula v Bermagui
The last time these two met the Panthers taught the Breakers a lesson in how to play slick running, high paced football in their best display of the season. The breakers have surprisingly played better football on larger grounds in 2017 and the wide open spaces of Pambula should suit their play. Look for this one to be closer then the last contest although the Panthers are coming off a solid performance last weekend against Tathra which should give the squad plenty of confidence ahead of their round 11 fixture.

Player to Watch: Stephen Butterworth, The Pambula mid/HF has showed his ability to get forward last weekend and has the ability to hit the scoreboard. Prediction: Pambula by 22 Points.

Merimbula v Eden
Both clubs put in reasonable performances last weekend with the Diggers able to run with the Lions for a half before tailing off whilst the Whalers matched the Breakers for three quarters after a poor first quarter. A Diggers win would all but resign Eden to the wooden spoon in 2017. The Whalers will be hopeful of emulating their form from last weekend after quarter time, where they were able to match the Breakers in the middle of the field. Both clubs will want to be competitive for the remainder of the season and maybe throw a spanner in the works for placings. Player to Watch: Peter Dadd, The Eden forward has pace to burn and given an inch of space will be hard to catch. Prediction: Merimbula by 50 Points.

It’s getting tight at the top in the women’s division with 5 teams staking their claim for the top 4. After the weekends play we could see a new team in the top 4 for the first time in a number of rounds if Bermagui can claim the points against the Giants. Last time the two met, it was a brutal contest with Bermagui’s Jorja Moore and Brodie Smith leaving the field due to a head clash. The Giants are closing the gap on teams above and a win this weekend would severely hurt Bermagui’s finals chances. Down South the Panthers host the winless Bombers whilst the Whalers travel to take on the Diggers. Both the Panthers and Whalers will be heavy favorites going into their respective clashes with an opportunity to improve their percentages. In the final match the Lions host Tathra with the Sea Eagles eager to maintain top spot on the ladder whilst the Lions are still searching for that win over the top 3 teams. If the Lions can’t get the 4 points the round 14 fixture against Bermagui is shaping up to be vital.

Player to Watch: Rebecca Foster, Key player for the Sea Eagles who has the ability to run all day. Has shown in 2017 that she lifts for the big games with this weekends game to be an important one if Tathra are to remain on top. Prediction: Pambula, Eden, Bermagui & Tathra.

Like in the senior grade the match between the Lions and Sea Eagles is vitally important. Pambula have shown to be the front runners although both sides will be wanting to secure the second chance. Both teams are evenly matched and this one should be a cracker. Tin the second game the Panther host the Diggers. The Diggers have edged their way into the top 4 although will finds the going tough this weekend against Pambula who have not suffered a loss yet in 2017 due to great depth. Prediction: Tathra & Pambula.

UNDER 16’s
Narooma v Merimbula (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 9:10am
BM Giants v Bermagui (Kyla Park, Tuross Heads) 11:50am
UNDER 13’s
Merimbula v Eden (Berrambool Sports Complex, Merimbula) 11:50am
Pambula v Bega (Pambula Sports Complex) 10:30am
BM Giants v Bermagui (Kyla Park, Tuross Heads) 10:30am
UNDER 11’s
Merimbula v Eden (Berrambool Sports Complex, Merimbula) 10:30am
Pambula v Bega (Pambula Sports Complex) 9:10am
BM Giants v Bermagui (Kyla Park, Tuross Heads) 9:10am
Narooma v Tathra (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 10:30am

Round 11 Preview
Under 16’s
The Lions are coming off a good win last weekend although against an under strength Pambula squad in their catch-up game. The Lions have been inconsistent due to player availability and it looks like the Lions will be under strength again this weekend due to their part time rugby players being unavailable. The Diggers have not yet secured a top two finish although the football they have displayed in 2017 shows they will be there abouts come the finals. In the second game, the Giants host the Breakers in their final meeting for the season. The Breakers are still winless in 2017 and have struggled in recent weeks to challenge the remaining sides. The Giants have shown at times that they can challenge the top 2 teams although are still looking for a four quarter performance if they are to claim a win. The top 4 teams look to be set with clubs looking to find their best football in the run home.

Player to Watch: Tavita Wood, The Merimbula back man flies under the radar at times with his no frills play although Wood is vitally important to his teams performances week in and week out off half back. Prediction: Merimbula & Giants.

Under 13’s
The Giants need to start winning if they are to challenge for a top 4 finish in 2017 and this weekends match is going to be tough as they take on the top of the table Breakers. The Giants have a relatively young squad which has been improving week after week and a win this weekend would be a huge result for the side. Will Bermagui start to get complacent as we approach the end of the season or will the side continue it’s dominance on the run in. The Whalers have a tough ask this weekend to get their first win, away from home and up against a Merimbula side who has been finding a way to win, week in and week out. In the final match up the Panthers will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Narooma before the bye against Bega this weekend. The Bombers depth has been tested in 2017 with the squad possessing 3-4 high end players in the squad with a number of under 11’s players asked to play key roles for the Bombers.

Player to Watch: William Seach, The Pambula youngster was impressive for the Sapphire Coast under 14.5’s in Nowra with Seach regularly amongst the best players. Prediction: Pambula, Bermagui & Merimbula.

Under 11’s
There is a couple of really good looking games this weekend in the 11’s with the most important being the Panthers hosting the Bombers. The Panthers sit in 4th although percentage isn’t helping the club with a Bega win meaning the Bombers would jump above the Panthers. This match is set to be vitally important if either team is to play finals football. The team sitting outside the top 4 with the best percentage is the Giants who take on Bermagui at home this weekend. The last time these teams played it was a single digit thrilling win to the Breakers. On home soil the Giants will be looking to halt Bermagui’s winning run and get themselves back in the top 4. Tathra have managed to claim their first win of the season although still sit at the base of the table. This weekend will be a big test for the Sea Eagles against the lions who sit comfortably in a top two spot. Top of the table Merimbula takes on Eden this weekend at home with the Diggers only having one loss in 2017. This should be a comfortable Merimbula win although the likes of Jemma Pollock and Jai Grant will look to make it tough for the Diggers.

Player to Watch: Sam Hsiao, The Merimbula youngster has shown some great signs in his first season for the Diggers. Prediction: Bermagui, Merimbula, Bega & Narooma.